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  • Writer's pictureDann Foley

Summer Travel and Design

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

June is that time when I finalize my summer travel plans. Nothing inspires me more as a designer than traveling far and wide to experience and explore new places, cultures and people. But, do you have to go to the far corners of the earth before you consider yourself a traveler? I say no!

One of my favorite ways to travel is take long weekends close to home, a “staycation”, if you will. Finding something or someplace new close to home can be as rewarding…and a heck of a lot easier…than getting out your passport and heading the airport.

For me, travel is a part of my job and this past month I made my bi-yearly trek to Highpoint, North Carolina for the International Home Furnishings show. The Highpoint Market is the older home furnishings show in the world and one of the largest. It displays and celebrates every product for the home and the vendors come from across the globe to buy and sell. It is like a mini-United Nations for the home industry. You can travel around the world and back again as you peruse one showroom after another.

What I find so interesting is how, though styles change, so much stays the same. For example, one bit of information I found while at Highpoint is, Coastal Style remains the number one sought after look by consumers in the United States. This has been so for many years and the look continues to be as strong as ever, without any signs of slowing. This feeds into my theory that a vacation and the sense of inspiration and tranquility it can bring can be closer to home than you know.

As your resident designer, I want to take you deeper into the style than the obvious choices and cliché products. What does it mean to have a coast style home? Are their common elements? How do I personalize a style that is so very “retail”? The answers are the same that I give my clients, no matter what style we are discussing. One must always approach design from a deeply personal place. Here are some thoughts on finding your perfect coastal space…

Think beyond the obvious.

· Start with your personal thoughts and experiences of the coast, shore or beach.

· Forget about the cliché items like, starfish, lobsters, crabs, etc. Those items can be charming but, use them sparingly as a finish detail, not a start.

· Your coastal home can be casual or as formal as you like. There was a time when a home on the water was still a formal affair…think Victorian splendor on the seaside.

· Today’s lifestyles call for a mix of high and low living choices. Remember that everything does not to be made of drift wood. Fine pieces like blue & white porcelain and beautiful fabrics can enliven and personalize your space.

· Your color palette should be as unique as you. I love blues and white as much as the next designer and I would not suggest they aren’t a terrific choice. What I am suggesting, is to think about colors that are natural compliments to them like, reds, yellows and greens.

· Aqua is not just one color. There exists a rainbow of blues, aquas, teals in the color spectrum, all of which can make a coastal palette exciting, exotic, sophisticated and inspired.

When thinking about paint for your coastal home don’t underestimate or fear a glossy finish. Many a painting contractor has warned me against using high-gloss paint finishes on an interior. They say that it will show every imperfection in the wall surface. I don’t disagree but, I also don’t take issue with natural imperfections in anything. To be clear, I am not talking about damaged or badly finished walls. I am talking about character than can be derived from the imperfect. I don’t mind seeing uneven surfaces, it suggests the hand that created it. The reflective nature of the paint brightens not just the walls but, the whole room around it. I love shining walls in any room and in any color. The way they reflect light and cast a glow on the items and people in the room is quite beautiful.

As with any style or any home project, I hope to inspire you to be bold, be daring! It is your home, it is your story, tell it out loud!

Live Well,

Designer Dann

Foley & Stinnette Interior Design

Designer Dann: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest & Houzz

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